MADISON, Wis. (11/17/14)--A new white paper from the Filene Research Institute explores the role of innovation in the financial services industry.
The paper, "A Road Map for Worldwide Financial Services Innovation," broke recent financial innovations into three categories:
Cooperative financial institutions put people before profits, so they must apply the filter of increased member benefit to every innovation they consider, the paper said. This adds a layer of time and complexity to every decision cooperatives make, but there are plenty of opportunities to innovate and benefit members at the same time.
The paper also describes how credit unions have used Filene's method for delivering financial innovation. Filene's focus is on developing and testing innovative solutions rather than on market commercialization.
The process emphasizes that all innovations must be rooted in directly solving the needs of an end user. The idea must be desirable to the ultimate user, or it will never succeed. A solution that doesn't properly address a human-centered problem is not truly an innovation.
"We believe that innovation is critical to the credit union future but that innovations can only earn the label of 'successful' if they put people before profits," the paper concluded.